pain

Pain & Pages

It’s been a heck of a month for me, filled with pain and stupidity, almost all mine. A tooth that my dental bridge is attached to developed an infection behind it. The front of my mouth was so sore I couldn’t eat anything harder than a popsicle. Within a day, the right side of my face was swollen, and I was going through an ice pack every hour. While I waited to get in to see the dentist, I sucked on ice cubes, popsicles, and even tried a teething ring (that didn’t help at all). I used OraJel on my gums, and Aspercreme on my face, trying to relieve some of the pain. Tell you what, that OraJel stuff is a godsend! It numbs everything, at least for a while…  I finally got in to see the dentist, Dr Idiot. After taking x rays, all he could tell me was what I already knew. Infection. And that he couldn’t do anything to fix it, because the tooth is attached to the bridge, and they’d have to remove the entire bridge. He kept repeating the “Six grand” until I was on the brink of tears.

Until the late 90’s I had perfect teeth. Then, one Friday, working at a YMCA Before-and-After-School program, I had a seizure while on the playground with the kids. I fell face forward onto the blacktop, knocking out my top four front teeth. I had to have the stumps pulled, and for several years, wore a little flipper–fake teeth that I could take out. Then I finally was able to get this bridge put in, thanks to the folks at the OHSU Dental School, and until a few years ago, it was perfect, too. Then the front two teeth got chipped, and I look like a hillbilly meth addict. It’s gone downhill from there, with pain and some more chips. My insurance won’t pay to replace it, because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. So if I want to fix the bridge, the teeth that are causing me pain, any of it, I have to figure out a way to come up with at least $6000. Which means I’m stuck with this damn broken bridge and pain forever–unless some fairy godparent sends me a check.

To add to the indignity, Dr Idiot refused to give me any good pain meds, but prescribed me something called Tramadol, which caused an allergic reaction that scared the hell out of me. Sent me into a huge panic attack, constricted breathing, and itching as well. When I called the office the next day to ask for a different pain med, he told me “if you’d just get over this, you’d be fine”  and “we don’t normally prescribe narcotics.” At this point I was crying and close to yelling at him, saying I didn’t want narcotics, just something that wouldn’t kill me, and that I was pretty sure we were no longer in a normal situation. He finally agreed to give me a new med. Of course, I didn’t get it until three days later. The antibiotic has helped a lot, and my face is no longer swollen, most of the pain is gone. I’ve four more days of antibiotics, and then we’ll see what happens.

sososoalive

But that couldn’t possibly be the only pain the universe inflicted on me, right? I’m convinced that somewhere there’s a demon with a voodoo doll of me, and they’re randomly poking, prodding & pinching that doll all the fucking time. As soon as my face started feeling better, my sciatica started acting up, causing my left leg some serious pain. Also making me walk like Elmo’s friend Mr Noodle, which is just ridiculous.  Standing & walking hurt so bad that I just gave up and spent most the last two weeks in bed. From my spot here among the pillows I’ve done half a dozen small craft projects (crafting soothes me — I’ll do a post about these phone cases I’m decorating soon), read a ton, watched way too many beauty bloggers on YouTube, and binge watched huge amounts of Netflix. I’m on Season 6 of “Once Upon A Time” and frankly, I’m a bit annoyed, but I will save that for another day as well.

There was more stupidity, and that was mine involving the other side of my face. Just as one side is feeling & looking better, I managed to give myself a shiner. Yep. Yesterday morning I was sitting on the bed, dropped my phone, ad in reaching for it, slid off the bed onto the floor. Landed face first on the edge on a hard container sitting nearby, bruising my right brow bone. Last night when I went to bed it was tender but not bruised; this morning I looked in the mirror and damn! That whole area around my eye is pink and purple. I’ve never been so glad to have so much makeup at my disposal– in just a few minutes I covered the entire thing up, and I look fantastic! #iwokeuplikethis

0f17f0b4c5b683b4d31343725f887a43

On a different note, I can’t post any book reviews because, well, the only stuff I seem to be reading these days is fanfiction. My tablet is full of all sorts of reading material: Oscar Wilde & Dorothy Parker. Bram Stoker & Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Joe Hill & Owen King. Alton Brown & Julia Childs. Jane Austen & Elizabeth Berg & Maya Angelou & Oprah.  Self-help, mysteries, thrillers, erotica, poetry, memoirs, true crime, classics, biography, fantasy, young adult, and even some odd non-fiction. Yet I keep going back to the fanfiction, like a junkie goes back to the needle. One of my goals for 2018 was to read actual books. Maybe I should try it.

9b464d195d020596f0e88d2d6054482c

pain · seizures

Hip Hip Hooray.

Today I trekked all the way across town and back to see the doctor and get an x-ray so he could send me an email and tell me there’s nothing wrong with my hip. I must be imagining this excruciating pain, I guess. If I could move my leg that far, I’d be tempted to kick something.  Wait, I already did that! Yeah, seems as if everytime I walk the last two days, I manage to jam my poor toes into something hard, including a couple of doorframes,   a metal trunk, the freezer, and more than once, Brandon’s steel-toed boots! My toes hurt almost as badly as my hip.

The hip has been giving me trouble on and off for the last year– I sleep on my left side, and apparently, that hip is tired of being at the bottom of the heap. Every few days I’d wake up in the night with it aching, roll over onto the other side, or my back, and things would mostly be okay. Then, on Monday night, I had a seizure sometime during the night, and that just aggravated everything. All day Tuesday I was in major pain– and not just the usual after a brain party kind of pain! Sure, I had a headache, I’d bitten my tongue, and the muscles in my calves are stretched to the breaking point. But this pain in my hip is something new–something bigger. I spent most of the day in tears, in med, with beneath ice packs. Big fun. And, of course, now Dr Jeff has said the x-ray shows nothing wrong. ARRRRRGGGHHH!!!!!

Oh well. On with my life, I guess.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome · crazy · Crystal Light · epilepsy · fat · food · headaches · Internet · medication · migraine · neurology · pain · seizures · stress · triggers

There’s A Word for That?

Migraineur:

mi·grain·eur

mēgrəˈnər,ˌmīgrā-/
noun
 someone who suffers from migraine headaches.
Earlier this week, I was doing some research online, trying to see if there was a connection between the two glasses of pseudo-Crystal Light I’d been having now that the weather is warming up and the massive migraines I’d been having, when I learned some nifty things. Such as the word migraineur. Makes sense that there’s a word for people like me, but it had never occurred to me.
Reading about triggers was rather enlightening as well. I wasn’t all that surprised to learn that artificial sweeteners are a big migraine trigger, since they cause all sorts of problems. I try to avoid them, preferring natural sugar, really I do. But for some reason, every summer, I go through this diet drink frenzy where I consume Crystal Light, or the fake store brand equivalent, in all it’s many flavors. No more of that for me. I’d rather be fat than in pain. Sugar is a trigger for many people, but I have to consume a huge amount before it gives me a headache; same with caffeine. Alcohol, on the other hand, give me pain within an hour or two of my first cocktail. No big deal, since I’ve never been a big drinker. Some of the other common food triggers are chocolate, cheese (hard or fermented), processed meats, and gluten. To the best of my knowledge, none of these are triggers for me. Good thing, too, because I don’t want to give up chocolate. Life is hard enough. Other triggers include weather changes, bright lights or loud noises, perfumes, lack of sleep, stress, missing meals, dehydration, hormonal changes, and crying. Yep, one reason I avoid the cosmetics counter at department stores. Those perfume samples are killers. Same as the laundry detergent aisle in the grocery store. First I sneeze, then I get a headache. No fun.
Migraine Triggers infographic
Here’s what really came as a surprise to me, however. In an article called ‘What’s Your Strangest Migraine Symptom?’ I learned that several things that have been happening to me for years are likely migraine-related. And here, I thought I was just crazy. Or had a brain tumor.
One of these symptoms, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, is a disorder that causes a person to believe that body parts (and in some cases their environment), are changing shape or size. For me, it usually means that I feel as if one hand is growing larger and larger, as if it’s a huge clown glove, filled with air. It never lasted very long, but felt as if it did. Once, when a migraine was so bad I had to go to the ER for treatment, this happened after they gave me the fun shot; that time, I felt as if my ears were getting bigger and bigger.
The first time I remember this happening I was eleven-years-old. I had been reading in the afternoon during summer break, and suddenly, my right thumb began to grow. It didn’t last long, or get very big, and I don’t remember if a headache followed it, but I do remember being totally freaked out. Until recently, I never told anyone about it.
When I was in junior high, I read Stephen King’s ‘The Dead Zone’ for the first time, and one thing from that book has stuck with me ever since. The neurologist asks Johnny if he ever smells anything unusual, like rotting oranges, or feces, when there is nothing there; apparently this  a sign of a brain tumor. Well, it turns out these types of sensory hallucinations are also a migraine symptom, one I’ve had often. I was pretty sure I didn’t have a brain tumor, because I’ve had my fair share of MRI’s & CT scans, thanks to the epilepsy, but thanks to Mr. King, I was always scared. Now, I don’t need to.
I do wish that one of the neurologists I’ve seen over the years had pointed some of this stuff out. I’m especially cheesed that the migraine specialist I’ve been seeing for the last year never mentioned any of this. I appreciate that there are all these online communities, but shouldn’t a doctor have said something?!
I’m sure there’s a word for how I feel.
migraine-art
idiocy · insomnia · medication · pain · RLS · stupid · Uncategorized

The Stupid Burns

Ugh.

It’s been a rough week. I went to see a new primary care doctor just over a week ago, and really liked him. He addressed the issues that the doctor I was leaving refused to look at– insomnia & RLS– and was nice on the eyes. Plus, he did not once tell me I’d sleep better if I got more exercise, or tell me I need to lose weight. He gave me some new meds, and increased the dosage on my RLS med. I was happy.

The problems began the next day. I wasn’t sure if I’d picked up a stomach bug, or if I was having a reaction to on of the meds, but I felt horrible. Stomach cramps, pain, the whole nine yards. By Thursday, I was begging my sister to kill me, but she refused, damn her.

Over the weekend, I went back to the lower dose of the RLS meds, and suddenly *** angels singing *** I was better! Last night, I took the higher dose, and this morning, I’m dying again. UGH.

So, I’ve now spent all this time being absolutely miserable for no reason whatsoever. Could have fixed it at any time. Not only am I in pain, but I’m too stupid to figure out why.

thestupiditburns

 

kitty · MissGoogle · pain · yoga

Random Middle of the Night Post

I woke up Thursday morning and, for the first time in weeks, I wasn’t in pain. Well, the small aches and pains that are always here were still there, but the massive pain that has had my neck and shoulders in it’s grip was gone. I honestly did not know what to do! Most people – normal people – would have used their day to actually do something, but that’s not how I roll. I spent my pain-free day curled up in my chair, reading. Same as always.  At least now I know that the pain can be alleviated; the day before, my sister Jolene had massaged my shoulders for a bit, nearly bringing me to tears, and then she sent me to bed with the heating pad. It worked (thanks, Butch!), and I can only wonder what a session from an actual  masseuse would do for me! Checking out deals on Groupon ASAP…

Things are stalled a bit, partially because of money, partially because I’ve been feeling so lousy, and partially because I just put stuff off. Big surprise. It amazes me that I once had a busy life, a full -time job, a home of my own, even a social life, and managed it all! Right now I am just proud that I’ve been able to keep my room clean for two weeks in a row; managing more than that is scary. However, I am working on doing more, both here, in the house (which is actually harder than going outside) and out. Still haven’t started my yoga class, but that is next, as is following through on my promise to Jolene to help with dinner twice a week. I can do this, right?

What I cannot do is get Miss Google to be nice to the new kitten. They antagonize each other, and every time Honey comes too close, Miss G goes on full alert, hissing and growling. She’s even swatted Honey a time or two, but the kitten doesn’t care. She’s either a masochist, or she really really wants to be friends, because she keeps coming into Miss G’s territory, getting in her face. At this rate, I may have to call in the cat whisperer.

 

 

accident · pain · seizures

Call Me Clumsy

I am a clumsy girl. Always have been. I manage to hurt myself doing things most people do without any problems, like sitting, standing, and even eating. I run into furniture, walls get in my way, I trip over my own feet, and I am the only person I’ve ever met who can be standing perfectly still, and fall over. An ankle will just twist, and suddenly I’m sprawled on the ground, in pain and looking stupid. I’ve managed to bruise every single part of my body at some point, and this does not count the injuries I’ve sustained during seizures.

As I write this, I have bruises on my right arm, hip and leg, as well as my chin. Friday night, in the act of standing up–something most people do without injury– I skidded across the wooden floor of my bedroom when that ankle twisted, landing on a stack of cardboard boxes in the corner. With my face. It was a bit softer than where the rest of me landed,  the floor and wall. I swore like a sailor, and spent the rest of the evening with am ice pack on my face. By Saturday morning, my face was fine, but my leg hurt so badly I spent the day with it iced. My right wrist is still killing me; that’s the wrist I’ve broken twice, and it hurts all the time!

My dream is to go an entire week without a new bruise or injury. To not look as if I’ve been the victim of a bad beating, or car accident. Until then, I will keep buying arnica, and  make sure I always have ice packs and ace bandages around!